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HC raps Admn for not removing encroachments from Govt land

HC raps Admn for not removing encroachments from Govt land
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High Court today granted last opportunity to administration and police to act upon the court orders on removing encroachments on Government land in Baramulla or else remain present before the Court.
Dealing with a contempt petition filed by the residents of Azad Gunj Baramulla seeking implementation of Court order passed way back in 2015, the Division Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Rashid Ali Dar took serious note of what the authorities have failed to discharge their duties in retrieving the Government land from the encroachers as was directed to them by the court in 2015.
The court while disposing of the main petition filed by the residents in 2015 had directed the authorities and more particularly the Deputy Commissioner Baramulla to comply with the statue and Court order passed from time to time and report compliance within four weeks before the Registrar Judicial of the Court.
Not complying with the said direction, the residents filed a contempt petition before the Court which has been heard by the Division Bench today and after perusal of the record and the submissions made by the counsels appearing for I&FC department and Revenue Department, the Court directed the Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Executive Engineer I&FC, Executive Officer Municipality and Superinte-ndant of Police Baramulla to ensure compliance of orders passed by the court to the extent of removing encroachments at the site in question or remain present before the court on November 8.
Court has observed that a big chunk of Government land has been encroached and despite the directions as also the provisions of law in force, the authorities have done nothing in the matter except the paper work which show their league and connivance with the encroachers.
The residents have submitted that a big chunk of government land being part of river Jhelum has to be used for public interest purposes strictly as per the management plans or Master Plan as the same would have serious adverse affects on the ecology and environment of the area in particular and the whole in Valley.
They submited that the land in question was fenced and certain trees were also grown therein by the Government and served to be a nursery and park to the locals but in the year 2013 certain sumo drivers broke open the fence of the land and chopped down the trees and started to park their vehicles which later developed in a full-fledged Sumo stand, which they said is a clear case of trespassing and encroachment on the State land as also the menace to the locals.
They approached the court on the ground that the land used by the Sumo drivers is essentially the State land and is situated on the bank of river and thus it is not open to any of the persons to utilize the said land for their own vested interests and commercial purpose without having any authority or permission.
“The State land cannot be encroached upon in a broad day light by whosoever wishes to and the authorities have only acted as mute spectators to these blatant violations as such the authorities be directed to evict the trespassers from the land”, read the petition of residents.

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